Hands-on activities, statistically, are the best way for most to learn. At Mercy, our science department is very good at doing that. Starting freshman year students get the opportunity to learn Biology, Anatomy, Chemistry, and other science classes that prepare students for college and STEM careers in the future. One specific class at Mercy that focuses on labs, is Ms. Newville’s anatomy class. During 4th and 5th hour, juniors and seniors have the opportunity to learn more about anatomy and physiology of the human body. They cover topics such as reproductive system, blood, diseases, all body systems, and a big project is getting a pig fetus and using its body to learn more about the human body and its system.
Throughout the year, student groups of two use their named pig and dissect the part of the pig they are currently learning about. This week, the 4th hour anatomy class dissected their pigs heart and reproductive organs. My group in particular had a male pig, and we took out the organs and the heart. When taking out the heart, we had to cut it out of the ribs it was behind, and the sac the heart was enclosed in: the pericardium. Ms. Newville walked us through the part of the heart you could see, and the difference between a human heart that is about the size of a fist and a pig heart that is about the size of a small strawberry. Overall it was a great experience that other schools may not have.
The next day, the class did a lab on heart rate and how it changes. We found our target heart rate and took turns running through the hallways to see how it changes through physical exercise. We then took out heart rates and made a graph to see the changes. Overall, anatomy or any class with Ms. Newville is always fun and entertaining. You never know what to expect.
The past three years I had the opportunity to have her for Biology and Anatomy. She will be missed next year as she is retiring, but if you got the opportunity to be taught by her, consider yourself lucky.